Music sector size and value


Latest industry data estimates that the core music industry made an estimated economic contribution - also known as Gross Value Added or GVA - of about £4.4bn to the UK economy in 2016 and supported 142,208 jobs. 

Three of the top five best selling artists worldwide in 2016 were British (Adele, Coldplay and David Bowie) and UK music generated £2.5bn in export revenues. 

The total audience for live music in the UK was 30.9m with 27m attending concerts and 3.9m going to music festivals.

The £4.4bn of music revenues in the UK market break down as: Musicians, composers, songwriters & lyricists (£2bn); Live Music (£1bn); Recorded Music (£640m); Music Publishing (£473m), Music Representatives (£96m).

The £2.5bn of UK export music revenues break down as: Musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists (£964); Music Publishing (£649m); Recorded Music (£421m); Music Representatives (£319m) and Live Music (£80m).

Source: Measuring Music, UK Music.
Published: Summer 2017


UK Music revenues


UK record company trade income - revenues generated by sales and streams across all format and from syncs - rose 10.6 per cent to £839.5m in 2017, according to the BPI's 2018 yearbook

The figures represent the highest rate of growth for the sector since 1995, and the increase was driven by 9.5 per cent growth in music consumption during 2017. This growth was due increases in streaming, where revenues rose by 41.1 per cent, and by the resurgence of vinyl sales (one in every 15 album purchases in the UK during 2017 was on a vinyl format).

Eight of the top 10 selling artist albums in the UK during 2017 were by UK acts, and UK artists topped the singles table (the UK was second to the US in the singles table of 2016).

The share of music consumption attributed to UK acts slipped in 2017, but was up in Canada, France and Germany with Ed  Sheeran and Rag 'n' Bone Man proving popular in international markets.

Source: All About the Music 2018, BPI
Published: April 2018.


UK Music Consumption


Official data release by the BPI, the music labels' association, reported that 135.1 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed, purchased or downloaded in 2017. This represents a 9.5 per cent rise on 2016 and marks a third year of consecutive volume growth. Some 68.1 billion audio streams were served – accounting for over half of UK music consumption.

The 2nd week in December also saw a new milestone of more than 1.5 billion audio streams delivered in a single week.

Sales of vinyl were up 26.8 per cent as unit sales hit 4m mark. 

Streaming services are more likely to be used by men than women, although there is growth in female usage of streaming, as well as audiences known as "young family" and "middle family". By the end of 2017 an estimated 3.5m smart speakers had been sold in the UK since launch.

Sources:  BPI releaseAll About the Music 2018, BPI
Published: January, April 2018.


Music tourism


The UK's music attractions including festivals, concert venues and musical heritage sites, generated an estimated £4bn of direct and indirect spend in 2016. (i)

It is calculated that 12.5m people journeyed to musical events - 'music tourists' - in 2016, meaning that about 40 per cent of the audience for music events comprised tourists.

The number of musical tourists to the UK has risen by 76 per cent since 2013. In addition, there were an estimated 47,445 full time UK jobs in 2016 supported by musical tourism. (ii)

Musical tourists spent an average of £850 a head on tickets, transport, accommodation and related costs, amounting to about £4bn of revenue for the UK.

Sources: (i)  Measuring Music 2017, UK Music; (ii) Wish you were Here 2017, UK Music.


Read about the growth in streaming

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